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Cops nab key Russian ponzi scheme operatives

Nationwide crackdown against illegal investment schemes as Prize Chits act gets a new life

N Sundaresha Subramanian  |  New Delhi 

The financial apocalypse contemplated by Russian was aborted in India by the Assam police earlier this week. Alexei Muratov, Mavrodi’s representative in India has been arrested.

Several key operatives of the MMMIndia, the scheme, that had wooed thousands of investors were also booked under the and Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978 and sections 120 (B), 406, 420 of the Indian Penal Code.

The move came after complaints from an investor and on the heels of the arrest of Amway India chief in Kerala two days ago, signalling a nationwide crackdown on the pyramid and illegal investment scheme.

In a video-cum text message posted on the website in, Mavriodi said, “Unfortunately I have to address to our participants with not so good news. All you know what happened with the chief of "MMM” sector and with some other top-managers Dinesh Kotian, Rimish Balan and Nabajit Das in India also. They were all arrested and now they are in prison of Assam.”

The move comes nearly two months after Business Standard first reported the spread of Mavrodi’s mutual-help scheme in India and his dubious background. Mavrodi had duped millions of Russian investors in the early 1990s through his pyramid scheme MMM. He has taken advantage of the internet to spread his ponzi schemes that rely on the financial apocalypse theory.

According to Mavrodi, the arrested people have declared a hunger strike.

“Everything is absolutely unlawful. There was no reason to arrest Muratov and others. No protests or claims that could make any reason, they just arrested them. It once again proves that indicates that "MMM” is a threat for the governments and the global financial market. India’s authority has already announced it. I mean that "We change the world” indeed and the World dislikes that, It stands against the pressure. That’s is the point of what is happening.”

He called for participants to register their protests.

“If we don’t react and stay away we would be killed, swatted like a fly. So YOU- the participants must show now your position. It is simply clear, that only your action can act on this struggle, and only this act will show who the winner is. As I said before about the financial apocalypse again and again everyone perceived it like abstraction”.

Announcing a shut down of the system, he said, “By the way about the system, we need to pause it until all the conflicts will be closed. Because the chief and his managers are under arrest, the participants will get panic. The work is paused until the situation between Muratov and his Leaders would be cleared up.”

Reiterating his assertion on the impending financial apocalypse, “I think you will behave properly….I hope,” he concluded.

First Published: Fri, May 31 2013. 17:07 IST